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4 steps to break out of your comfort zone

12/29/2017

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In 2017, I hit the reset button on my comfort zone. I quit my job (I actually quit two jobs), I moved from California to Arizona and started a new position as chief operating officer for HomeSmart International. Oh, and I became an Ironman!

The journey to resetting my comfort zone actually began with committing to doing something so crazy and so far beyond what I thought were my physical limits, I wasn’t even sure it was possible.

Wendy Forsythe, you are an Ironman!

I have always been athletic, but completing in an Ironman race was unimaginable to me. How could I possibility cover 140.6 combined miles of swimming, cycling and running in 17 hours or less. Was I strong enough? Was I tough enough? I wasn’t sure.

Spoiler alert: I did finish the race! I crossed the finish line and heard the words “Wendy Forsythe, you are an Ironman!” I had reset my comfort zone in what I could accomplish as an athlete.

What I didn’t expect is what hitting the reset button on my comfort zone would do in all other areas of my life. Here are the four steps I followed to get out of my comfort zone and what I learned along the way.

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Step 1: Set a goal that scares you

If you know you can achieve it, it’s not a goal — it’s a to-do. New milestones are made when serious doubt and real fear of failure exists. This is what drives and motivates you when the days are long, you are tired, you are frustrated and life happens.

Because life will happen, and things will not go according to plan.

Focus, discipline and commitment get you to the goal. The bigger the goal, the more of each of these three things you need. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Step 2: You can do more than your head lets you

The more I did physically while training for Ironman, the more my perspective changed. My limits started to expand not just in my hobby of triathlon, but also in my work life.

While training, I started saying things like “It’s only a 60-mile bike ride,” or “It’s only a 13-mile run.”

I looked at challenges from a new perspective and became more confident in taking risks. My physical and mental endurance was growing. What was once unimaginable physically was now possible. That is a powerful mindset shift.

I’ve come to realize that mental endurance is one of the most significant determinants of success in life. I was strengthening my mental endurance while training for Ironman, and this endurance allowed me to accomplish more in my professional endeavors.

Think about how you will strengthen your mental endurance.

Step 3: Find people to push you, support you and kick you in the ass

In triathlon, you learn that if you want to swim, bike or run faster you should train with people who are faster than you are. On my team, I was one of the slowest.

I often joked with my teammates that I somehow ended up with the advanced class, and I was a beginner. But here’s the thing, I worked harder to keep up. At every group practice, I was envious of the skills and determination of my teammates.

They made me uncomfortable. They made me self-conscious. They humbled me.

But they made me better.

Surround yourself with people who are so good they make you uncomfortable; they will also make you better.

Step 4: Go for it

What is your big goal for 2018? That thing that you don’t want to say out loud because it makes you feel uncomfortable. Whether it’s a production goal, starting a team, starting a brokerage, changing your job, moving to a new state or doing an Ironman, it’s time to go for it!

Hit the reset button, get uncomfortable, and get prepared to work hard. Amazing things are waiting for you just outside your comfort zone.

Wendy Forsythe is the chief operating officer for HomeSmart International in Scottsdale, Arizona. Follow her on Facebook, or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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